Absolutely FABULOUS article by a super mom!

OMG…Constance, my heart soars with hope as I discover these amazing people who have left fear behind and have embraced raising their transgender child with the same love and compassion as any other child…and they have the guts to stick up for and defend their child as well against insidious policing efforts.

Just read!  It is informative, simple and easy to comprehend, and deadly to anyone who desires to feed their ignorance!

Love, Charissa

 

The Lord Looks at the Heart: When My Son Became My Daughter

I am the mom of the little girl called A.J., who was recently profiled in the Kansas City Star. As surprised as I was to find my family in the paper, I am also incredibly proud.

 

stormy rainbow

 

 

Credit Image: Jessica Keating Photography on Flickr 

My daughter is six years old. She transitioned—which means she changed her outward appearance from male to female and started living full-time as a her true gender—when she was four. Until that point, she was quite a rough and tumble little boy with a buzz cut and shark-tooth necklace. But when she was three, she asked her dad and I if we could buy her a princess dress.

We didn’t buy the dress. We thought she might be going through a stage of liking bright or sparkly things and didn’t want to waste money on something she would grow bored of in a week. But she kept asking and I found out that she had a favorite princess dress she wore at daycare. “What the heck?” we thought and took her to the store to pick one out.

Things didn’t stop there. Over the next few months, she started to wear that dress every single minute she was at home. Then she asked for more: dresses, nightgowns, headbands, sparkly pink shoes and eventually even girls’ underwear. We allowed some of those things but drew the line at the undies. There were just some things we weren’t comfortable with during this “phase.”

But then I noticed her pushing down on her genitals a lot and asked her what was wrong. Not having those parts, I assumed she might have a rash and was itchy, but her answer shocked me. She said that they bothered her and were in the way. She wanted them gone.

Thank God for Google because I immediately jumped on the computer and typed in a search …”Four-year-old boy says genitals should be gone.” What came back was a very short list of results, but they all pointed to one thing: My child might be transgender.

I had never even heard the word “transgender” before and really didn’t know what to think. We made an appointment with our pediatrician. She recommended a child psychologist. But before we could even get an appointment, my daughter—then my four-year-old son—said these words to me, “Mom, you know I’m really a girl, right? I’m a girl on the inside.”

That moment changed my life. In the following months, she became more insistent. We saw the psychologist and an endocrinologist to make sure there wasn’t a hidden medical issue. She became more determined to express herself by wearing those pink sparkly shoes to daycare. She wanted to go out for ice cream in a fairy dress and wings. Eventually, we couldn’t hold her back. She was showing signs of depression and refused to leave the house dressed as a boy. The day I let her go to school in girl clothes, she was happier than I had seen her in a very long time. The kids were great. The teachers were awesome.

But then the kids went home and told their parents, and things weren’t so great after that. Adult bigotry influenced them. We lost most of our friends and some family. We basically went into hiding for about a year while my daughter grew her hair out to look like the girl she is. When we emerged again, it was with a very happy and confident daughter.

When I tell our daughter’s story, I hear the same uninformed comments over and over again, so I’d like to address a few of those now.

1. We are liberals pushing a gay agenda.

Nope, sorry. I am a conservative Southern Baptist Republican from Alabama.

2. We (or at least I, because they always blame the mom) wanted a girl, so we turned our child into one.

Again, no. I desperately wanted boys. The idea of raising a girl in today’s world scares me to death. I’d much rather be responsible for raising a good boy who knows how to treat girls well than to be responsible for raising a girl who might only be interested in dating bad boys.

3. “Kids have no idea what they want or who they are. My kid wants to be a dog. Should I let him?”

Well, that’s up to you, but I wouldn’t. There is a profound difference between wanting to be something in imaginary play and in declaring who you are insistently, consistentlyand persistently. Those are three markers that set transgender children apart, and my daughter displayed all of them.

4. Kids shouldn’t have to learn about sex at such a young age.

I agree, so it’s a good thing that being transgender has nothing to do with sex! Gender identity is strictly how a person views him or herself on the inside, and it is completely separate from whom we are attracted to.

5. Transgender people are perverts and shouldn’t be in the bathroom with “normal” people.

I don’t know what you go into a bathroom to do, but I know what my daughter goes in there for… and it isn’t to look around. It’s to go into a stall, lock the door, and pee where no one else can see her.

6. God hates transgender people. They are sinners and going to Hell.

My God taught us to love one another. Jesus sought out those that others rejected. Some people choose to embrace Biblical verses that seem to say being transgender is wrong. I choose to focus on verses like First Samuel 16:7, which says, “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'” My daughter is a girl in her heart. She knows it. God knows it. That’s good enough for me.

Stuck in the middle again…(rant alert)

Hi Constance…

…a quick note this morning to comment on some thing on my heart.

I know a lot of people over the years who are very drawn to me because I am open about the relationship Father, Jesus and Mama have forged with me.  They get all the credit, for this is true:  there is none righteous, not one who has even sought after God!  That means that if you are in relationship with Them, it is Their doing, and none of your own, save the assent of your will.

And in the openness of our relationship, these individuals find a self-affirmation of their own faith, relationship, etc.

But here is the kicker:  I am also open about my struggles, my failures and flaws.  I put on no religious airs, and when They expose any that have crept in quietly when pride was crooning its deadly lullaby, I renounce those pretensions as quick as I can.  I try to boast in my weakness, and not in my strength, as Father promises that the Strength of Jesus is made perfect in my weakness.

So…it is just a matter of time before the people who are drawn to me are repelled by my lack of performance, my lack of keeping up the appearance and doing the things that signal that I am “orthodox”, saying the things that signal I am “safe”, and practicing the things that signal I am “one of us”.  Soon, there are judgements, accusations, demands that I toe the line and not use my freedom to “make them stumble”.

Huh?  I thought Paul was talking about someone who was weak in conscience and in their relationship, who might fall away completely from the life of someone strong in the faith, so the strong one should bear with the weak one patiently.  These people twist that word, are strong in their conscience and faith, and boast that nothing could pull them away.

No…they are simply using faith words to try to keep me in the christian gulag that they run.  And, as I know in my deepest knower that my Hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ Blood and Righteousness, and that all other ground is sinking sand, I regretfully, but purposefully ignore them, and thus end up branded a heretic.

You know the old maxim:  if you don’t tick like I tick, you’re a heretic!

So…that wouldn’t be so bad in itself…in many ways we are known by our enemies as much as our friends.

But here is the discouraging thing:  There are many others, who are deeply spiritual but have for one reason or another excluded Father, Jesus and Mama as spiritual possibilities in their world view.  These people are amazing, compassionate, loving, etc.  And they flock to me because in me they see someone who does not practice “religion”, and doesn’t try to pretend by actions to have a superior standing over anyone else, who doesn’t believe that being in a church building every Sunday makes you a christian any more than being in a hen-house every day makes you a chicken!

And so there is an initial attraction and excitement of possibilities…until we come to that One thing that sticks in the craw always, in all times and all places with all people:

“Who do you say that I am?”

Those words were spoken long ago by the Incarnate God…by Jesus, to His beloved disciples…and they are asked of every single person who is ever born.

This is not a fairy tale, or fantasy.  This is reality.  And I am incapable of not knowing it is so…

…not a boast.  Not dogma, or a dogmatic refusal to be ecumenical or inclusive…it is simply true.

Jesus came in the flesh, God, to restore all things to the Father, and build a temple for Mama to live in (that is us, by the way, and all of us together).

That simple truth is my absolute essence and core.

And thus, a stumbling block does often rise, the Cornerstone upon whom we should all be so blest to fall and be broken.

Inevitably, there creeps in a distance, and the assumption that I am just another right-wing fanatic christian looking to control and kill everything that ain’t me.

And that is sad to me…it is hard for me to not feel as if there is something so wrong with me, and that I should just say fuck it and throw my lot in with one or the other…right?

But I can’t.  Because I can never ever not know the Ones I know, and I can never ever not know the futility…the

UTTER. FUTILITY. of my own works and deeds and ability to stay close to Them.

So…Constance…

Chances are you may find yourself in one of these groups…initially you might have been drawn to my writing because of the raw emotion and undisguised struggle that my life is…our life is…you may have loved a poem that touched on some longing or need or similar experience.

I am a desperate woman!  Absolutely desperate in every sense of the word, and far more so because the body that I have poses a lot of…hmmm, let’s call them opportunities…for Mama, Jesus, and Father to sanctify me, teach me grace and humility, and create in me a soul that loves and oozes mercy as one who has herself been fed mercy as mother’s milk.

Or…you may have been drawn here by my bald-faced and open and unashamed conversation about Them, Their history in my life, involvement with me and refusal to ever let me go.  You might have read a poem that earnestly cries out to Them, or one that is ecstatic in utter praise for Their Love!  You may have seen words like Grace, Faith, Hope, Redemption, Sanctification, and been drawn to those words like moths to a flame.

But sooner or later there may be something that sticks in your craw, in your throat like a sideways chicken bone, and won’t go down.  Can I just ask you one thing?  Please don’t judge?  Please don’t assume hypocrisy where there is only very fallen and flawed humanness?  I can never ever deny Them…and that is not a boast of my greatness!  It is simply a truism, and it would be like denying that I drink water everyday, or that I breathe every 5 seconds or so.

But neither can I ever deny the absolute reality that literally nothing I do save saying YES and yielding to them results in anything other than utter vanity.  And I will never pretend otherwise.

Dearest Christendom dweller…you who sits back and reflexively filters every word thru your fruit detector lenses and doctrinal code breakers, and then marks red lines in your mind all over everything that doesn’t match up with your current understanding of the magisterial magnificent word of God…you will not like me when I tell you that you are in greater deception than the ones you judge!  You are in greater judgement than the ones you have consigned to your “love” (the affectations of behaviour that you manifest towards those you dislike or disapprove of or judge but know that they “need to know Jesus” so you will essentially brown-nose them into the kingdom)!!

Oh, oh how my heart longs for the day when we would take our eyes off each other, quit inspecting each other’s fruit as if we are Jesus, and simply open our hearts in joy and allow Perfect Love to fill us…to overflowing…and eventually to flooding the lives of those around us.

Constance…it is so simple and pure, really…just be kind…just do justice…just love mercy…just show compassion always…just let the abundant exceedingly great and abounding Grace make a “Grace-mess” everywhere.

You who just cannot swallow all my blabber about Jesus, but you like my poems?  IT.  IS.  OKAY!  🙂  I am ok with that!  Here is the truth:  if They had not laid hands on me and taken me, I would not belong to them at all!  Why would I?  Because of the wonderful comeliness of Their kids???  Because of my own towering faithfulness???   NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT!!!!!

And you who find something stirring, some deep calling to deep in my writings of Jesus and Mama (ok, ok…since it seems a matter of dire import, HOLY SPIRIT), and Father, but you just shake your head as I openly share my life as a transgender person, as I openly share my life as a person in process of moving from trusting myself to trusting Them?  IT.  IS.  OKAY!  🙂 (And it is even OK that I call Holy Spirit Mama?  I can make a stronger case for Her femininity than you can for Her masculinity, if you wanted to go there…but why?  Then we are fighting and satan laughs!)

Sorry Constance…that has been brewing in me for a good while.  Some email comments, and some other things I had to write out of my heart so they wouldn’t fester.

Your regularly scheduled mewlings will commence after She feeds me this morning!  🙂

 

Love always, with the Magnificent Love of Father shown in Jesus and revealed by Mama…

Charissa Grace, the glad, golden and grateful (and sometimes defiant) daughter of Them

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